Thursday, February 26, 2009

THE COPY EDITORS' SURVIVAL GUIDE, INCLUDING DEALING WITH WRITERS:)

Today's New York Times PAPER CUTS blog features a winner from my alma mater, Carol Saller’s The Subversive Copy Editor, University of Chicago Press.

The article begins:

“The Subversive Copy Editor.” What a title! It brings to mind all sorts of wickedness, does it not? The rogue editor inserting illicit language, or botching grammar, or wittingly misplacing punctuation out of spite toward some demon writer.

But it’s not what you think — nor is this a stylebook or a grammar guide or a primer on the hobgoblins of English usage (we have plenty of those). No, this is a “relationship” book, writes its author, Carol Fisher Saller, doyenne of The Chicago Manual of Style Online’s Q.&A. Here, she hopes to “soothe and encourage and lend power” to editors who have too long suffered “from the oppression of unhelpful habits and attitudes.” This is the book Oprah would write if her vocation were saving writers from embarrassment, rather than saving the whole world.

And goes on to say:
She [Saller] reminds us that the reader is Priority 1 and that while standards are crucial (“I’m not going to suggest that you toss out your stylebook”), so is flexibility (sometimes “a style is just a style”). There’s advice here on deadline management, e-mail etiquette and how to handle “the difficult author.” There’s even a section called “Dear Writers: A Chapter of Your Own,” which aims to make the editing process — and editors themselves — seem just a tad less infuriating exotic. (In fact, this little book would make a great gift for writers: a quick anthropological study on that eccentric species Homo editorialis.)

Looks like a winner!

Click HERE to read the book's introduction from the University of Chicago Press Website and HERE to order the book.

Monday, February 23, 2009

RIDDLE AND ACROSTIC POEMS

Riddle me this, Batman....

Statcounter's Keyword Analysis tells me that since I started my blog in August 2008, I have the most hits from people searching for Riddle Poems and Acrostic Poems, yet there are barely any Riddle Poem or Acrostic Poem collections on the bookshelves.

These Riddle Poem and Acrostic Poem-hungry readers land on my lessons of how to write and teach these forms plus they get a mini-helping of my original poetry---and I'll be honest, I don't put my best work up on this blog because that is the work I plan to sell to publishers.

So, why the editor resistance to student-loved Riddle and Acrostic Poems?

BTW, I also receive a lot of Haiku-hungry searchers who land on my two Haiku lesson posts. Haiku is huge in the classroom and I am thrilled to see the success of Wabi Sabi, Zen Ties, If Not for the Cat, and more.

CYNSATIONAL INTERVIEW OF LEE BENNETT HOPKINS

It is no secret that I am a huge fan of Lee Bennett Hopkins. Not only did he 'discover' me but he has discovered, worked with and promoted most of the children's poets we all know and love today.

Please click over and read author, teacher and blogger extraordinaire Cynthia Leitich Smith's fab interview of Lee on Cynsations. Here are some of my favorite excerpts:

What advice do you have for those interested in writing poetry for young readers?

My advice to writers who want to write poetry is to study the past. Look at the NCTE Poetry Award winners' work. Study it. These are among the giants in the field of poetry. They epitomize the brilliance of wordplay--the genius of light verse in the hands of masters like David McCord and X. J. Kennedy, the passionate works by Eve Merriam, Myra Cohn Livingston, and Nikki Grimes. The craft of Valerie Worth, etc.

If you could change one aspect of publishing, what would it be?

It would be to have more editors who know the craft of poetry...who would be willing to take chances with new poets, to get away from the hangup that exists that every book should be thematic.

A book of poetry should be a book of poetry...about many different topics...about what the poet must say...feel...hear inside one's self.

Have a great Monday and as Lee says, "Happy Poetry-ing".

Sunday, February 22, 2009

BLUE ROSE GIRLS: CONGRESS, PUBLISHING, AND US

Libby Koponen of the fab blogging Blue Rose Girls is calling on all of us to help bring back midlist books by asking lawmakers to reverse the tax on backlist inventory. Please read her important post: Blue Rose Girls: Congress, publishing, and us

Thursday, February 19, 2009

WHAT'S HITTING CHILDREN'S BOOK SHELVES SPRING 2009 + 3 NEW CHILDREN'S IMPRINTS SHARE THEIR EDITORIAL VISION

While the economy slows, children's publishing marches on. On Feb 16th, Publisher's Weekly Spring 2009 Children's Books Edition landed on news stands, trumpeting publisher's new offerings. Congratulations to all authors and illustrators who have books launching in the coming months.

Click on the letters below to see who is publishing what, listed alphabetically by publishing house.
A-C D-G H I-O P R S T-Z

Plus, PW featured 3 new imprints that will be debuting their lists in 2009 in their article, NEW IMPRINTS STAKE A CLAIM: Simon & Schuster's Beach Lane Books, Candlewick Press' Templar Books, and HarperCollins' Balzer + Bray. Beach Lane has 5 books debuting this Spring while Templar and Balzer + Bray will debut their lines in Fall 2009.

Congrats, Beach Lane and Douglas Florian for for your starred imprint launch.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

REJECTION AND SELF-CONFIDENCE....AGENT RACHELLE GARDNER: WHY AGENTS DON'T SEND PERSONALIZED REJECTIONS

If you are not reading WordServe Literary Agent Rachelle Gardner's Blog you are missing out. Yes, she specializes in Christian Publishing and if you are reading my blog you probably specialize in Children's Publishing, but she is one savvy agent with a blog-load of good advice.

Today she focuses on why agents don't send personalized rejection letters. Rejection hurts. Everyone in this business experiences it. But as Rachelle says:

"I could be wrong. I would hate to make some kind of pronouncement about your manuscript being unsalable and get you all dejected, only to have my opinion proven wrong by the next agent who comes along and recognizes your brilliance."

Opinions vary and we, as writers and illustrators, must bully up our confidence everyday to create our very best work. When we stop believing in ourselves, our creativity suffers. Our manuscripts suffer. And most of all, our souls suffer.

I have been lucky enough to attend a number of SCBWI retreats where participants meet in small groups with an editor and read their first pages aloud. The editor provides a first-impression critique. An hour later, our small group reassembles in front of a different editor and we hear his/her critique of the same work. In the third hour, the writers repeat this process with a third editor. To my great surprise, the editors' opinions varied not just greatly but sometimes were completely juxtaposed.

Lesson learned: opinions vary from person to person so I must believe in myself and search for my editorial soul-mate.

Monday, February 16, 2009

NEW FACEBOOK TERMS OF SERVICE GRANT FACEBOOK THE OWNERSHIP OF YOUR CONTENT. FOREVER!

New Facebook Terms of Service grant Facebook the ownership of your content. Forever.

Thank you FinePrint Agent Colleen Lindsay for alerting us all to Facebook's new, unsettling, terms of service.

For all of us who import our notes into Facebook this creates a major dilemma. Many like to read and comment within our Facebook community rather than on the Internet at-large. Now all of us on Facebook have some decisions to make not just about our notes but about everything we post on Facebook. Darn capitalism:(

Lindsay writes,

The most disturbing sentence in the paragraph above is this one: "with the right to sublicense". Which essentially is Facebook telling their users that they can sell the subrights to any posted content on Facebook. This includes your personal information, any notes you import as RSS feeds and your personal photos. And theoretically, the way this is written, if you're an author who posts portions of your work-in-progress on your Facebook account, those portions belong to Facebook. Forever.

What are you going to do differently?

Modified to add: Facebook CEO Michael Zuckerberg just posted the following on Facebook. Since I don't know if you have to be a member to read it I will copy his post here in its entirety:

A couple of weeks ago, we updated our terms of use to clarify a few points for our users. A number of people have raised questions about our changes, so I'd like to address those here. I'll also take the opportunity to explain how we think about people's information.

Our philosophy is that people own their information and control who they share it with. When a person shares information on Facebook, they first need to grant Facebook a license to use that information so that we can show it to the other people they've asked us to share it with. Without this license, we couldn't help people share that information.

One of the questions about our new terms of use is whether Facebook can use this information forever. When a person shares something like a message with a friend, two copies of that information are created—one in the person's sent messages box and the other in their friend's inbox. Even if the person deactivates their account, their friend still has a copy of that message. We think this is the right way for Facebook to work, and it is consistent with how other services like email work. One of the reasons we updated our terms was to make this more clear.

In reality, we wouldn't share your information in a way you wouldn't want. The trust you place in us as a safe place to share information is the most important part of what makes Facebook work. Our goal is to build great products and to communicate clearly to help people share more information in this trusted environment.

We still have work to do to communicate more clearly about these issues, and our terms are one example of this. Our philosophy that people own their information and control who they share it with has remained constant. A lot of the language in our terms is overly formal and protective of the rights we need to provide this service to you. Over time we will continue to clarify our positions and make the terms simpler.

Still, the interesting thing about this change in our terms is that it highlights the importance of these issues and their complexity. People want full ownership and control of their information so they can turn off access to it at any time. At the same time, people also want to be able to bring the information others have shared with them—like email addresses, phone numbers, photos and so on—to other services and grant those services access to those people's information. These two positions are at odds with each other. There is no system today that enables me to share my email address with you and then simultaneously lets me control who you share it with and also lets you control what services you share it with.

We're at an interesting point in the development of the open online world where these issues are being worked out. It's difficult terrain to navigate and we're going to make some missteps, but as the leading service for sharing information we take these issues and our responsibility to help resolve them very seriously. This is a big focus for us this year, and I'll post some more thoughts on openness and these other issues soon.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

VALENTINE'S DAY- AN ORIGINAL POEM

Happy Valentine's Day, Everyone!

VALENTINE’S DAY
Bobby L’Roy is the boy for me,
I love him with all my might.
He stole my heart
With his Valentine tart
When he said I could have the first bite.
© Jill Corcoran 2009

Friday, February 13, 2009

POETRY FRIDAY: SWEETHEARTS DANCE



Happy Valentine's Day.




SWEETHEARTS DANCE
by Nikki Grimes

He pulls her close
She strokes his face
Their thoughts fly to
Their starting place

The Sweethearts Dance
The day they met
He still remembers
She can't forget

The music plays
Just like before
The graying sweethearts
Young once more
Whirl and dance
Across the floor.

Today's Poetry Friday is hosted by Big A, little a.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

LEE BENNETT HOPKINS POETRY AWARD

The Pennsylvania Center for the Book, the University Libraries, and the Pennsylvania School Librarians' Association are pleased to announce the winner of the 2009 LEE BENNETT HOPKINS POETRY AWARD as well as honor award winners.

This year celebrates the l5th Anniversary of the Award...the first of its kind for poetry in the history of children's literature. The Award comes with a $l,000.00 cash gift from Mr. Hopkins.

2009 WINNER

DIAMOND WILLOW by Helen Frost (Frances Foster Books/Farrar, Straus & Giroux)

2009 HONOR BOOKS

THE SURRENDER TREE: POEMS OF CUBA'S STRUGGLE FOR FREEDOM by Margarita Engle (Henry Holt & Company)

STITCHIN' AND PULLIN': A GEE'S BEND QUILT by Patricia McKissack, illustrated by Cozbi A. Cabrera (Random House)

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

XML

Thank you Michael Bourret, agent at Dystel & Goderich Literary Management, and Harper Studio for this fantastic explanation of XML. The future is here!

THE SWIVET: PUBLISHING AND THE ART OF PATIENCE

The Swivet: Publishing and the art of patience.

Thank you FinePrint Literary Management Agent Colleen Lindsay for your positive words in these confusing times.

Monday, February 9, 2009

SO YOU WANT TO GET PUBLISHED....

The economy is in a tailspin but publishers must buy manuscripts if they want to sell books. SO....how do you write the book that a publisher will not only invest in but attain a positive ROI?

First and foremost, you write the best darn book you can write....but you already knew that. Join a critique group, go to conferences and retreats, and read, read, read!

From around the cyber-horn comes home-run advice for all of us in the publishing industry. (Excuse the baseball-lingo but I have 2 boys in baseball and my world is currently bats, balls and bases.)

Writer and Editor Jane Smith tells us to Do Your Research.

Waxman Literary Agency's Holly Root reveals the Recipe for Success? High Concept.

WordServe Literary's Rachelle Gardner gets straight to the point in her post Ask the Agent: Writing in Multiple Genres. Here's an excerpt but read the entire post for an excellent explanation about branding for writers.
"Can I write books in multiple genres and expect to build a successful publishing career? No."

For more information and discussion about branding see my previous post, Branding for Writers, Revisited.

And finally, Editor Alan Rinzler shares, "Self-confidence is the single most essential ingredient an author needs to succeed, since good writing is never that quick or easy." Read his post, How Successful Writers Keep Up Their Self-Confidence for hands-on advice on what you can do to keep your writer's hat stuck on straight.

Click here for more Writing Tips.

Friday, February 6, 2009

LIST OF CHILDREN'S POETRY BOOKS COMING OUT IN 2009

Sylvia Vardell lists over 25 books per post, so 50+ poetry books coming out in 2009! Yeah for poetry!

http://poetryforchildren.blogspot.com/2009/01/poetry-of-2009-jean-littles-birthday.html

http://poetryforchildren.blogspot.com/2009/02/more-poetry-to-come-in-2009-whats-poem.html

Sylvia's blog POETRY FOR CHILDREN is a must visit for anyone interested in children's poetry. Enjoy:)

IMMERSED

For my final entry in The Unofficial Jill Corcoran Original Poem Poetry Week I present IMMERSED.

IMMERSED
Last night I plunged
into the deep
rich white space

between what is written and
what I envision

between where ink stops and
imagination begins.

Last night I stayed
up into the
wee
wee
hours
reading
reading
reading
a book.
© Jill Corcoran 2009

Catch this week's POETRY FRIDAY roundup at Wild Rose Reader.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

TIME-OUTS & WAITING-CINQUAIN THURSDAY

I've decided this will be ORIGINAL POETRY WEEK on my blog. I proclaim today Cinquain Day!

TIME-OUTS
If time-

outs are my time
to think things out, why then
do you come in and tell me what
to think?
© Jill Corcoran 2009

WAITING
Sun-baked
beetle flails on
his back, waiting for the
curious puppy to wake up
and play.
© Jill Corcoran 2009

For more original poems by yours truly, click here.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

THE POTTY-an original poem

Sometimes you write a poem that you know will not fit into any of your children's poetry collections but just makes you laugh.

THE POTTY
There you sit, big and wide,
Waiting for me to put something inside.
Uh uh. Forget it. I’m not climbing on.
You’ll take all my insides and then they’ll be gone.
I don’t want a sticker, a star or a treat,
I just want to go standing here on my feet.
Maybe tomorrow I’ll give you a try
But today it’s too late.
I think you know why.
© Jill Corcoran 2009

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

CAMOUFLAGED-an original poem

I dream of a world of peace, equality and love. May 2009 be the year my dream comes true.

CAMOUFLAGED
Camouflaged in
Army greens
United States Sergeant Jesus Martinez
Cruises along Baghdad streets
Feared by enemies
Embraced by Iraqi citizens
Proud missionary of justice, equality and freedom.

Camouflaged in
A t-shirt and jeans
United States Sergeant Jesus Martinez
Cruises along Beverly Hills streets
Feared by shopkeepers
Mistrusted by Anglo citizens
Impatient for his next Tour of Duty.
© Jill Corcoran 2009

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